Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant smiles as he jogs to the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Philadelphia. AP Photo by Matt Slocum. (AP Photo by Matt Slocum)
Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant smiles as he jogs to the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Philadelphia. AP Photo by Matt Slocum.

AP Photo by Matt Slocum

NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and eight others pass: An NKU basketball community mourns

Players and coaches take to social media to express their loss.

January 27, 2020

Sunday morning, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13 year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Maria-Onore Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with seven others. TMZ was the first to break the story of Kobe Bryant being involved in the helicopter crash. Hours later, they revealed the identities of John and Keri Altobelli, the parents of Gigi’s teammate Alyssa Altobelli. Sarah Chester and Payton Chester (13), Christina Mauser—a girl’s basketball coach—and the pilot, Ara Zobayan were also on board. 

Several NKU athletes took to Twitter to mourn and express how much of an impact Bryant’s life as a player, coach and father had on them. 

Redshirt junior guard Jalen Tate from the NKU men’s basketball team was one of the first from the Norse to respond to the news.

 

Junior forward Grayson Rose from NKU’s women’s basketball team acknowledged how important it is to appreciate your loved ones.

 

Redshirt sophomore guard Paul Djoko attributes his “addiction” to the game of basketball from watching and studying the Black Mamba.

Sophomore point guard Ally Niece expressed her sympathies. 

Sophomore point guard Taylor Clos acknowledged the weight of losing a basketball legend so tragically.

Assistant men’s basketball coach Eric Haut took to Instagram to share his respect in the loss of Bryant. Haut does seem to find joy in being able to tell his son about the lessons of the #MambaMentality.

All these tweets and tributes are just a small glimpse into the sorrow the world felt losing a player of Kobe’s caliber so unexpectedly. According to the Daily Mail, it’s believed the group was on their way to Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball practice.

Taking helicopters was something that Bryant did on a regular basis. Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant and their daughters Natalia, Brianka and Capri.

He’s well known for his scoring of 81 points in 2006 against the Toronto Raptors, his five championship rings, his explosive style of play and the thousands of memes from every one of his public moments.

After retiring in the 2015-16 season Bryant wrote a letter entitled ‘Dear Basketball’ in the Players Tribune, a publication featuring content from athletes in professional sports leagues. 

In 2018, he wrote, narrated and produced a short film based on the letter that was also entitled “Dear Basketball,” which won an Academy Award—making him the only professional athlete to ever win an Oscar. 

This coverage will be updated. Never miss an update: follow @northernersport on twitter.

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